Getting a new snake can be an exciting addition! Please read below to ensure your new snake has the smoothest transition into their new home. Upon arrival be sure to take photos from all angles, this can be used as a personal reference for contacting us. Give the snake space. The best way for them to get comfortable is to allow them time to explore their new surroundings. Try not to handle or feed within the first 3-4 days as your snake is still settling in. After the first few days handle your ball python on a regular basis so they become used to human interaction.
Enclosure There are many different options when picking the best enclosure for your snake. For the enclosure itself terrariums or tubs work best. The enclosure should be big enough so that the snake can be stretched out on two sides, for example a 3ft snake should be in a 2x1ft enclosure. Reptile tanks will have screen tops that clip on top. Side Enclosures normally have 2 sliding glass doors, but make sure the lock is secured. Tubs must have holes in the side to ensure the snake is able to receive oxygen. Tubs have a lid that can be secured with binder clips. Different substrates can be used as well. We recommend coconut fibers, mulch, aspen, or bark. DO NOT use cedar, the oils are harmful to the snake. Water bowls should be large enough that they can soak in and will not tip over. Artificial plants or logs can be great additions. They are easy to clean and offer great cognitive stimulation for your snake. Be sure to not over crowd your tank.
Temperature and Humidity Hot spots offer the best form of heat into the enclosure. Only one side of the enclosure should have a heat spot to offer the snake a cool and hot side of the enclosure. The hot side should remain at about 88-94F and the cooler side should remain at about 80-86F so they can self-regulate their temperature. Heat lamps can be used as well, although they tend to lower humidity within the enclosure. Humidity should be kept between 50-75%.
Cleaning Cleaning your enclosure is very important to the health and wellbeing of your snake. Spot clean the feces and urates as you see them or it will begin to cause mold which will affect the snake’s health. It is best to do a complete substrate change every 6 months, or earlier if the substrate is soiled. This allows a fresh environment for your ball python. When cleaning your enclosure be sure to secure your snake in another enclosure. A secure tub or snake bag works great. Snakes should have clean water at all times.
Eating Ball pythons can live 20+ years on a routine diet. Your snake should eat roughly every 5-7 days while young. As adults, they can eat every 8-10 days. Your snake may go on a food strike, which is fine, but only at their discretion. They can go months off food, but make sure they are not losing a lot of weight. Force feeding is not recommended. Tongs are great to keep your hand away from the strike zone of the snake. Refrain from handling 2 days after feeding, as this could cause regurgitation. Snakes use eyesight along with heat sensing pits around their mouth. If your hand is close to its food, it may mistake your hand as food.
Eating Guide Feeding your snake is sometimes the most exciting part. You should feed them a rat no bigger around than the biggest part of their body. The circumstance of the snake and the rat should be the same size. Feeding one rat of the proper size is better for your snake than two smaller rats.